Return of the Larix

As you might remember from Arrival of a Larix we received this larch some time ago. I finally decided to set out to work on it this Saturday as it was a nice day out and this guy was just looking like he needed some attention.

A quick review of how the tree looked before work began.

The first order of business was to begin working on the deadwood that is on the tree. The current state of the deadwood was a little spiky and out of place. I began by reducing the height of the main deadwood section. As I began sculpting the deadwood I discovered that parts of it had become punky and moisture was beginning to eat away at the base. This is of course a major concern when there is deadwood that reaches to the soil surface. The punky wood was removed using the die grinder and the rest of the initial carving was completed. The wood will be preserved using lime sulfur that has been diluted and had ink added to it in an effort to reduce any stark contrast in color.

After the initial carving was complete I was able to begin working on changing the structure  of the tree. As you can see in the above image the initial image was that of a young tree with strong apical growth and the foliage pads were very linear and flat. These were two of the most important aspects that needed changing to help portray the look of an ancient conifer. The good news is that larches in particular are very flexible and forgiving offering the artist a great deal of latitude in the placement of the branches.

The tree was heavily thinned and compacted to help create a tighter more masculine image and to evoke more of the alpine shape that would be natural to this tree in many surroundings.

The image after styling. A different front was found that showed off the deadwood better and provided a much more interesting focal point.

With the initial styling complete the tree will be allowed to recover. The next steps are to create more definition and interest in the deadwood as well as to create more ramification in the branches. Refinement of the overall image will take probably the next 2 to 3 years.

4 responses to “Return of the Larix”

    • one of the major “problems” of having two authors of a bonsai blog with each of them being artists …. is that people often mix them up …. 🙂 🙂

      ang3lfir3 == Eric

      but I’ll take the compliment in the spirit it was intended … thanks! 🙂 🙂

  1. I remember seeing this tree when it was offered by Wee Tree and thought the dead sections with the live trunk would be tough to handle – I like what you have done. Have you considered getting some more foliage down and slightly behind the carved section ? Do you style the left upwards turning branch and the main trunk to create one crown or two ?
    Perhaps an implanted jin on the main trunk going down and to the right – which would break up that straight section. Definitely not your typical larch …regards and best wishes from NY…Tom

    • Thanks! I am glad you enjoy it. I hope to refine the deadwood more over as time progresses to give it more texture and to reduce some of its bulkiness.

      Each of the two trunks have a top to them.. the main trunk actually has several “tops” so to speak … in the next few years I plan to define them more… some of the fullness you see today will be eliminated over time by creating jin in the branching to reveal an older image. For now those branches are being wired and styled to help create more interesting jin in the future. Eventually the two tops will be in harmony and yet still very separate.

      The deadwood is actually the trunk of a separate tree and could be removed entirely but I personally think that would take away from what makes this particular tree so different and exciting.

      Thanks again!! Really glad you enjoyed it.

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